North Anderson Baptist Church
Praying for Others Who are on the Battlefront
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Paul loved the church at Ephesus. He had started that church and over the years spent time with them teaching and caring for the members of that local church. At one point he spent 3 years there helping them grow and giving a great foundation for them to move out to the world with the Gospel. The book of Ephesus was written while Paul was in prison in Rome and he wrote for several reasons, two of them were to help them understand the need for unity as a church and how to grow to become mature believers. Another reason was to remind them of the battle they had to fight to be able share the Gospel and build the church of Jesus Christ. For this sermon, we want to look at Paul’s reason for telling them to use PRAYER to pushing back the darkness for themselves because of the great evil all around them. He also sought them to pray for those like him and his companions, that faced the great evil in seeking to take the Gospel out into the world and plant churches in areas where the lost are numerous and yet the spiritual battle is difficult.

1) Be Strong Against the Devil’s Schemes

Paul comes to speak of this subject last in his discourse to the Ephesians. God is a God of mighty power and we as believers should always remember we have the right to call on His power and Paul says in reference to the evil of the devil, that we ought “to stand strong in His mighty power.” It is here that he tells Christians, not just Ephesians, to put on the armor of God to stand strong. Putting on the full armor of God will help all of us to successfully stand against the schemes of the devil.
Paul defines the enemy we have: it is not flesh and blood, it is rulers, authorities, powers of the dark world and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.” What does that mean? Who is this enemy of the Christian? We are going to have to think differently, if we are truly want to know our enemy. We think of the people around us who hurt us as our enemies. No, that is not so. It is the spiritual forces behind them that is our real enemy. Satan has a host of evil demons and spirits who follow him and seek to disrupt, destroy and deny the Christian in every way possible, but you can’t see them, just the effects of their evil work.

(An old deacon who used to pray every Wednesday night at prayer meeting always concluded his prayer the same way: "And, Lord, clean all the cobwebs out of my life." The cobwebs were those things that ought not to have been there, but had gathered during the week. It got too much for one fellow in the prayer meeting, and he heard the old deacon one time too often. So when the man made that prayer, the fellow jumped to his feet and shouted: "Lord, Lord, don't do it! Kill the spider!" That's what needs to happen.
—Gospel Herald) Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.

Friends, we need to start thinking differently and realize who is behind our temptations and many of our trials and difficulties.

What does Paul say we must do to overcome this evil power that comes against us? It is the armor of God on us, in us and surrounding us that allows us to stand our ground against the enemy. Notice though it is not just one piece of armor but the FULL armor of God! Put on the full armor of God and you will be able to stand your ground against these unseen enemies of the devil.

2) What is the Full Armor of God?
Here they are:
belt of truth
breastplate of righteousness
feet fitted with the readiness of the Gospel of peace shield of faith helmet of salvation
sword of the Spirit

We will not have time to go into great detail of the armor but it is important to see that the armor covers the strategic areas of the body: the head, the chest, the waist, the feet and the shield which can cover the other areas not armored. The last is the non-defensive weapon which is the offensive sword of the Spirit. Notice, if you will, the Godly spiritual qualities Paul speaks of: truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation. Each of these are absolutely necessary to walk the Christian life with faithfulness. When thinking about being in war or combat, you can see the wisdom from Paul when he describes the armor. Notice the offensive fighting is with the Power of the Spirit of The Word of God (the sword). In the battles you face put on the full armor of God and stand against the powers of evil and count on God and His power to get you through the difficulties you experience. Surely none of us ever have difficulties that we need to use the armor of God in defense from satan? Not so! We do need to be ready though with the offensive Sword of the Spirit when it is necessary to use it against evil.

3. Praying for Others who Serve the Lord
This section of the scripture is the crux of the message today. Regarding our own lives and the evil that comes against us, Paul here says, please pray for those who have been sent to share the Gospel and help plant churches elsewhere. In our church’s case, we have some that have gone out from us, are being sponsored by our church fellowship or known to many of us who have some relationship with NABC. These servants are depending upon us to help them spiritually to fight against the evil schemes of the devil that try to disrupt their families, lives and ministries for the Lord. Paul was saying to the Ephesian church that he wasn’t wanting them to pray for him to be set free from prison but to be able to do the work God called him to do where he was, even in prison.
Our friends and some who are strangers to us, need the prayers of saints like you and me, to be strengthened in their faith, seek protection from the evil one, even to help them do their work and particularly to reach the lost and grow the saved for the Lord Jesus Christ. We can pray for them to have the courage (to be fearless, as Paul says) to do whatever it takes to share the Gospel in all situations. Praying for others to relate well to the lost so they can explain the story of Christ to them, is a worthy goal for us as well.
Prayer Costs
"I want you to spend fifteen minutes every day praying for foreign missions," said a pastor to some young people in his congregation. "But beware how you pray, for I warn you that it is a very costly experiment."
"Costly?" they asked in surprise.
"Yes, costly," I replied. "When Carey began to pray for the conversion of the world it cost him himself.
"Brainerd prayed for the dark-skinned savages, and, after two years of blessed work, it cost him his life.
"Two students in Mr. Moody's summer school began to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth more servants into His harvest; and, lo, it is going to cost America five thousand young men and women who have, in answer to this prayer, pledged themselves to the work.
"Be sure it is a dangerous thing to pray in earnest for this work; you will find that you cannot pray and withhold your labor, or pray and withhold your money; indeed, you will find that your very life will no longer be your own when your prayers begin to be answered."
—F.E. Marsh Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
Now I would like to introduce you to a goal of mine that comes right from this month’s subject of Intercessory Prayer. It is in four special prayers groups for:

Church Plant Prayer Groups
Our Missionaries in the States and IMB Missionaries
Missions on College Campuses
Saluda Association Church and South Carolina Baptist Convention

Our hope is that you will consider making a commitment to prayer for one of these four groups As I go over them, they will be placed on the screen for you to see. And then after the service, out in the Welcome Center and foyer, there will be duplicate boards with these four Prayer Groups listed and you will be able to sign up saying you will commit to pray for everyone or one of the categories on the one of the four sheets. I am asking, for a full 30 days, that you make the effort to pray for those on the sheet by name and where they serve or a specific category. Right after the service please go out to the Welcome Center and sign up. Be patient and there will be room for signatures, even if we have to extend the number so we can add more names to pray. I have made extra sheets that you can take home so you can remember the people or category you have chosen.

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com